A Review: Umphrey's McGee (Syracuse)
As my girlfriend and I walked towards the Westcott Theatre; We were approached by more people than I could count, asking us for extras for the sold out show. The sidewalk out front of the venue was packed with confused and disapointed faces, exploring their options of gaining access to the show. As we entered the venue I was checked in on the guestlist and handed a photo pass. This is the point in which it really set in that this was too small of a venue to host a band of this size and popularity. A photo pass for the Westcott, really? For those of you who are not familiar with the Westcott, it is an old cinema that was converted into a concert venue. In other words it's small... Too small for UM.
As the place began to fill in, it was clear that in fact the show may have been oversold. Due to the fact that there is no backstage area, it was interesting to watch the band enter through the packed front enterance of the venue, and fight their way through the ancy crowd to the stage. As they walked on stage the sold out crowd went crazy.
The show opened up with a "Jazzy Oddessey", setting a solid pace for the evening. Transitioning into "Example 1". Next they played a solid version of The "Fussy Dutchman" followed by "Got Your Milk (Right Here)" into one of my favorites of the evening "Jimmy Stewart" into Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" into "Anchor Drops"... Sick jams and seemless transitions. Next they played "Dump City" then closed the first set with a sick "Nemo" into "Mulche's Odyssey"... I was left disoriented and destroyed. I was unsure if my body could physically handle another set...
At setbreak the band along with the rest of the crowd, rushed for the exit to escape the sweltering theatre. The brisk cold air offered a much needed refresher. The band quickly made it's way across the street and down the block to their tour bus as the antics out front of the theatre began. Wookies poured out into the streets and flooded in all directions. We headed back to our car for some wine and non-sense during the break. As we came back to the theatre it was entertaing to see a man dancing and playing guitar for a bunch of excited on-lookers. We stayed outside to enjoy as much freash air as possible. As we saw the band walking our way, we attempted to beat the rush and head back indoors. Success. Once again, the band fought it's way through the crowd to the stage...
As the band took the stage for the second set, you could feel the intensity in the room was elevated from that of the first set. The second set began with "Atmosfarag" followed by "Out of Order" back into "Nemo". Although I am not a huge Pink Floyd fan, one of the highlights of the evening was Umphrey's version of "In the Flesh" into "Another Brick in the Wall" with the crowd participating heavily on the chorus, then transitioning to "Bridgeless" into "Proffesor Wormbog". Somewhere within' that segment of song, someone had inflated several huge balloons that began bouncing throughout the crowd and several times involved participation from the band; encountering fists, guitars, heads. The last of the balloons exploded in Bayliss' face as he was singing; promting a "Fuck me". They then covered Flock of Seagulls "I Ran", again bringing out a ton of crowd participatin and some sick jams. The second set closed with a "Last Man Swerving" into a "Bridgeless"... Wow.
The band stepped off stage for a matter of a minute and back out to encore with "Andy's Last Beer", which wasn't one of the best songs of the evening, and I thought an odd choice for an encore.
The show involved an intense amount of shreading... Jake making it look effortless, and Bayliss rising to the challenge. Joel did a hell of a job on the keys playing some extremely crunchy as well as spacey solos and Kris completely destroyed on the drums. The intensity of this show was mind-blowing.
As the show ended there was once again a mass exodus for the door, involving fans and the band alike. The Westcott Theatre had been raged and was lucky to still be standing...
I say with great confidence; Umphrey's McGee is by far the best and most destructive touring band on the scene.
Overall: 9 out of 10.
Umphreys McGee Live at Westcott Theater on March 3, 2010.
Set I: Jazzy Odyssey$ > Example 1, The Fussy Dutchman, Got Your Milk (Right Here) > "Jimmy Stewart" > Stranglehold* > Anchor Drops, Dump City, Nemo > Mulche's Odyssey
Set II: Atmosfarag, Out of Order > Nemo, In the Flesh** > Another Brick in the Wall** > Bridgeless > Proffesor Wormbog, I Ran%, Last Man Swerving > Bridgeless
Encore: Andy's Last Beer
$ intro walkout > written intro
* Ted Nugent
** Pink Floyd
% A Flock of Seagulls